Where are they now? Millwall’s Division Three promotion winners 1976
by Neil Fissler
PHIL SUMMERILL is the first to admit he was never the most popular player that ever wandered down Cold Blow Lane to play for Millwall.
But that changed for a short while when he scored the vital goal against Swindon in their last game, which helped secure the Lions a quick return to the Second Division.
After being relegated the season before, Gordon Jago’s side bounced straight back with Summerill netting his tenth of the season at Swindon.
“I know I wasn’t a fans’ favourite, but I really enjoyed playing for Millwall,” he said. “There were plenty of ups and downs during my time.
“When I scored at Swindon, it wasn’t long before full-time, but I got besieged by Millwall fans. It was like being at the bottom of a ruck and I had everyone on top of me.
“It was in the days when the fans used to come on the pitch and they all had to get off the top of me so the game could restart.
“Swindon had something like a 40-game unbeaten record at home and we went and won there. Most of the crowd were Millwall fans.”
Summerill earned himself a bonus for becoming the first Millwall player into double figures, but would it be enough to claim third place behind Hereford United and Cardiff City?
The Lions, who had held off Brighton, then faced an anxious wait for South London rivals Crystal Palace to finish their fixtures.
“We were resigned to not going up because Crystal Palace were a good team in those days and they had games in hand. They were also home games but they failed to win them, so we got promoted.
“I was living in Petts Wood at the time, I can remember trying to find someone to go out with to celebrate, but everyone had long gone away on holiday. It was a funny old season because we had good spells and not-so-good spells, and when we were on those runs we really felt we were unbeatable at times,” he added.
- Billy Neil: Winger who has been associated with the Lions for more than 50 years. He was a coach before going to work in the commercial department as lottery and travel manager at The Den.
- Mark Wright: Father of footballer Josh, of Gillingham, and TOWIE star Mark. Was a used car salesman and is now a football agent.
- Eddie Jones: Left-back who joined the London Fire Brigade and became a firefighter but he had to retire through injury and now lives in Chingford.
- Ray Evans: Right-back who moved to Seattle in America to coach youngsters. He then became head coach of Columbia Basin College in Washington and now of the Three Rivers Club.
- Bryan King: Goalkeeper who is now based in Kongsberg, Norway, scouting for Everton after stints working for Aston Villa and Tottenham. Also works as a commentator for Norwegian television.
- Ray Goddard: Goalkeeper who moved to Spain and was based in Calahonda, where he ran a bar for many years. He sadly died after suffering a stroke in December 2007, aged 58.
- Jon Moore: Left back who went into the City and was working for Tullett & Tokyo, one of the world’s largest inter-dealer brokers.
- Alan Dorney: Central defender is based in Bexleyheath and went to work in the construction industry, where he became a builder.
- Dave Donaldson: Full-back who ran a fish and chip shop and then became a sales manager for a national food company.
- Alan Hart: Midfielder who is now living in Wickham Bishops, Essex, and is a director of independent window specialists West Leigh
- Gordon Jago: After leaving The Den, he moved to the States, working in the Dallas area, where he still lives and is ambassador and special consultant to the Dallas Cup.
- Frank Saul: Forward who ran his own fashion and knitwear business in north-west London and then became a construction wholesaler, based near Ingatestone, Essex.
- Phil Summerill: Striker who returned to his native Birmingham where he became a football development officer for Birmingham City Council and then delivered cars.
- Tony Hazell: Defender who spent many years working for BT as an engineer in fibre optics.
- Alan Welsh: Winger who became brother-in-law of Billy Neil. They worked together in Millwall’s commercial department and he has since been in the building trade.
- Barry Kitchener: Legendary defender who had a spell on the coaching staff. He then ran souvenir shops in Caister and Great Yarmouth prior to his death from cancer in March 2012, aged 64.
- Terry Brisley: Midfielder who settled in Brentwood, Essex, working on the foreign exchange markets in the City before becoming a gardener.
- Barrie Fairbrother: Forward who now lives in Australia, where he has more than 30 years’ experience in the property industry and is national client manager for a property investment company.
- George Borg: Full-back who became a successful Non-League manager – he’s currently in charge at Brentwood Town – and has worked as a painter and decorator, including at Buckingham Palace.
- Jack Blackman: Bermondsey-born and served The Lions as a WW2 guest. An ex-railwayman, he worked for Millwall until retiring and lived in Croydon until his death in December 1987, aged 76.
Barry Salvage: Winger who was player-manager of three Norwegian sides. He was living in Eastbourne, working as a taxi driver, until he suffered a fatal heart attack in October 1986, aged 39.
Gordon Hill: Winger who has spent many years in the States in Florida and Texas, working as a tennis and football coach. He now runs a football academy there.
Trevor Lee: Forward who is still based in south-east London where he has worked as a locksmith and then as a carer. Still a regular visitor to The Den.
Phil Walker: Midfielder who lives in Southfields, near Wimbledon, and has coached in the States and Portugal. Now runs his own academy and coaches youngsters at Fulham.
Ron Davies: Forward who was a demolition worker, then moved to the States coaching in schools and as a painter in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he died in May 2013, aged 70.
Chris McGrath: Northern Ireland international winger who worked at an armaments factory, before moving to GlaxoSmithKline in Ware, Hertfordshire.
John Seasman: Midfielder who was a regional manager for Football in the Community, then chief scout at Tottenham and Blackburn. He has since become a football agent.
Tagged Millwall, Phil Summerhill, Where are they now?